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SSM VOTE: The four MPs who voted 'no' to gay marriage

Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott leaves the chamber ahead of the final vote on the Marriage Amendment Bill in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Thursday, December 7, 2017.
Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott leaves the chamber ahead of the final vote on the Marriage Amendment Bill in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Thursday, December 7, 2017. AAP Image - Lukas Coch

SAME-SEX marriage has passed the House of Representatives, with all but four MPs sitting on the opposite site of the chamber for the final count.

Although Australia's postal vote resulted in a resounding win for the 'Yes' vote, members of Parliament were not legally obligated to follow that decision.

Outspoken Queenslander Bob Katter - who earlier in the day argued same-sex couples were trying to "steal" the word 'gay' - was joined by Hinkler MP Keith Pitt, Maranoa MP David Littleproud and McMillan MP Russell Broadbent as the only members of the lower house not to vote 'Yes'.

A picture of the house divided reveals a lonely scene.

Division in House of Representatives paints a lonely picture.
Division in House of Representatives paints a lonely picture.

Mr Pitt released a statement declaring his vote was not "for or against same-sex marriage", but instead about the bill.

"The debate today was about the bill and its details. I supported a range of amendments which I believed would have improved the bill, but the final legislation was put without these amendments included.

"I was aware of the opportunity to abstain from the vote today, but in this place I believe you should always have the courage of your convictions."

Earlier in the day, Mr Katter made his feelings on the matter crystal clear.

"L-G-B-Ts, whatever the hell it is ... I have no idea what it is ... you'll probably change it," he said.

"I refuse to use the word g-a-y."

The member for Kennedy said gay people have "an inflated opinion" of themselves and that "the rest of the world would agree". He then accused the LGBTI community of stealing the word "gay" before reading out the alternative definition of the word: 'Beautiful, light, happy and ethereal".

The House of Representatives has not confirmed the number of MPs who voted yes or abstained, as this is "standard practice" when there are fewer than five "no" votes, it confirmed.

It's unclear how many MPs abstained from voting although there are reports it could be up to 12. The Australian has named Tony Abbott, Andrew Hastie, Michael Sukkar, Kevin Andrews, Scott Morrison, Alex Hawke and George Christensen as among them.

Tony Abbott was not in the chamber for the final vote.
Tony Abbott was not in the chamber for the final vote.

Topics:  editors picks same-sex marriage ssm vote


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